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Spiritual Family

Thursday March 24 2005 08:09 IST

By Karmayogi

The ancients who sought the Spirit in moksha did not fully abandon the family life from their concerns. To bring the Spirit or at least spiritual values to family life was their concern.

Adherence to spiritual values in family life will prepare the grahasta for spiritual life later was their idea. Behind that conception lies a vast truth which embraces domestic life as well as ascetic life.

From that point of view, I should like to interpret some of the major spiritual terms that describe siddhi, austerity, methods, etc. Moksha, nirvana, asana, pranayama, japa, dhyana, nishta, prathista, samadhi, and vrata are some such terms.

Let us see what their equivalents are in the life of a grahasta. Indian life is shot through and through with Spirit.

The language we use in our daily life is almost based on spiritual concepts. What is husband in English is Purusha in Sanskrit.

Purusha is the soul of the universe. In India the husband is called Purusha, the soul of the family. In English, the word husband denotes one who gathers support to the family.

Nirvana is a great siddhi. Our mind has opinions, ideas, and beliefs. We function through them. To receive God into the mind, man-made concepts or structures should not be there.

To remove every STRUCTURE from the Mind by tapas is Nirvana. At home, the head of the family is expected to devote himself like that to the family.

We find it practised by the wife. She never thinks. Her husbands opinions are hers. An ideal wife never puts her ideas, beliefs or opinions forward.

Moksha is to lose ones own identity in identifying himself with the Spirit. In the family, the head of the family eliminates himself and puts his claims last. Everyones claims precede his own needs.

Asana is a fixed, well-defined poise of the body in yoga. Everyone in the family takes such a psychological poise with respect to the honour of the family, its needs and his duties to it.

The family claims precedence over his own selfish needs, whether it is a child, woman or man. As the poises in asana are well-defined, so the attitudes towards the family are well-defined.

Pranayama is regulation of the breath. Soon it puts the body in touch with the universal energies that flow into it, making it glow.

The grahasta undergoes great hardships to tune his family life to that of the society so that the entire community is always ready to support him.

Man taking infinite efforts to become a social being is pranayama in the family. Japa is to repeat the Lords name or a mantra so that its power will enliven us.

When a daughter is born, the parents start saving money in the form of gold from her birth so that at the time of marriage there will be enough sovereigns readily available. Every mother knows what a tapas it is.

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